Indianapolis Colts: Predicting the 53-Man Roster

What might the Indianapolis Colts' 53-man roster look like now with training camp laying weeks ahead?
Colts quarterbacks, Anthony Richardson, from left, Joe Flacco and Kedon Slovis wait for the next drill during Indianapolis Colts minicamp practice Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
Colts quarterbacks, Anthony Richardson, from left, Joe Flacco and Kedon Slovis wait for the next drill during Indianapolis Colts minicamp practice Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. / Kelly Wilkinson/IndyStar / USA TODAY
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The Indianapolis Colts have concluded their mandatory minicamp and now coast into a six-week respite before training camp begins near the end of July.

There's only so much that can be gleaned from observing offseason practices. However, additions made over the last couple of offseasons have made things interesting in key areas when it comes to reducing the roster to 53 players by Week 1 of the regular season.

With the context of young players expected to make strides in their development, players returning from injuries, and how the team might expect to deploy their offensive and defensive systems, here's an initial guess at the Colts' 53-man roster.

OFFENSE (24)

QUARTERBACK (2)

Anthony Richardson, Joe Flacco

The conundrum here is who wins out between Sam Ehlinger and Kedon Slovis for QB3 or whether to even carry three quarterbacks at all. For the sake of making room at other positions, the Colts ride with two QBs here.

RUNNING BACK (3)

Jonathan Taylor, Trey Sermon, Evan Hull

Taylor as the ball-dominant starter with Sermon as his backup, and Hull as the pass-catching back is all the Colts really need for now.

WIDE RECEIVER (6)

Michael Pittman Jr., Josh Downs, Alec Pierce, Adonai Mitchell, Ashton Dulin, Anthony Gould

The depth has to show up, stay healthy, and perform as expected during training camp, but it feels like the Colts have a pretty solid six at receiver. While Dulin and Gould will mostly be used on special teams, both have useful traits on offense.

TIGHT END (4)

Kylen Granson, Jelani Woods, Drew Ogletree, Will Mallory

This group is full of potential, but injuries derailed that train last year. Fingers crossed, the young up-and-comers stay healthy and show some growth this summer. Granson does a little bit of everything for the Colts while Woods stakes his claim as the big-play threat of the group. Ogletree absorbs Mo Alie-Cox's role while Mallory is next in line as an efficient pass-catching tight end.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9)

Bernhard Raimann, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Will Fries, Braden Smith, Blake Freeland, Matt Goncalves, Tanor Bortolini, Josh Sills

In this scenario, the Colts' heavy investment in youth on the offensive line over the last two offseasons will force the team to play a numbers game and boot out some of the veterans of the group. Versatility is the name of the game.

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DEFENSE (26)

DEFENSIVE LINE (10)

Kwity Paye, DeForest Buckner, Grover Stewart, Samson Ebukam, Laiatu Latu, Dayo Odeyingbo, Tyquan Lewis, Raekwon Davis, Taven Bryan, Adetomiwa Adebawore

This is likely to be an excruciating group to chop down for the Colts following the preseason. There are young, athletic players who may hit the chopping block because of the quality depth the Colts have, particularly at end. Odeyingbo and Lewis' ability to move inside and out helps make these decisions.

LINEBACKER (6)

Zaire Franklin, E.J. Speed, Segun Olubi, Ronnie Harrison Jr., Jaylon Carlies, Grant Stuard

If Carlies is able to prove valuable on special teams and prove his skill in some defensive role then it's likely to boot a veteran or two out of the group. Overall, this is a pretty straightforward unit.

CORNERBACK (6)

Kenny Moore II, JuJu Brents, Jaylon Jones, Dallis Flowers, Darrell Baker Jr., Micah Abraham

Any of Moore, Brents, Jones, and Flowers not making the roster would be quite the surprise, so there is likely only room for one or two more players. Baker played a lot for the Colts in his first season of action last year, while Abraham holds value in an underrated aspect: backup slot defender. His ability to create turnovers is also a skill that can't be taught.

SAFETY (4)

Julian Blackmon, Nick Cross, Rodney Thomas II, Trevor Denbow

What to do, what to do? We know Blackmon will be one of the two starters, but in four years, he has not yet played a full slate of games. Thomas earned the starting free safety role as a rookie but then took some lumps in 2023, losing the gig at the end of the season. Cross seems to have the leg up going into training camp next month, but he hasn't earned a significant role in his first two seasons. Will he turn the corner this summer? The depth also took a hit recently when Daniel Scott tore an Achilles. He was out for his rookie year last year with an ACL injury but was likely to have a key depth role in 2024.

SPECIAL TEAMS (3)

KICKER (1)

Matt Gay

Unsurprisingly, rookie UDFA Spencer Shrader does not unseat Gay as the team's kicker.

PUNTER (1)

Rigoberto Sanchez

Sanchez is coming off of the best punt average (48.3) and net average (42.8) of his career along without notching a touchback.

LONG SNAPPER (1)

Luke Rhodes

There's no reason to upset the applecart with one of the longest-tenured members of the team, especially a two-time All-Pro.


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Jake Arthur

JAKE ARTHUR

Jake Arthur has covered the NFL and the Indianapolis Colts for a decade. He is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) and FantasyPros' expert panel. He has also contributed to multiple NFL Draft guides.